The best prenatal care begins long before you conceive.
So you’ve decided it’s time to invite the stork home! It’s no doubt an exciting time, especially if you’re going to be a first-time mom. You probably have a million questions related to pregnancy and how to get the best preconception care in Richmond, VA.
There are a lot of things you can start doing months ahead of time to prepare your body to become pregnant and improve pregnancy outcomes when you begin trying to conceive. Remember it’s also the best time to be advised on all matters pertaining to conception and having a healthy pregnancy. These include preconception diet and advice, how to reduce the risk of birth defects and so on.
And the best way to do that is by setting up an appointment with your OB/GYN for preconception care in Richmond, VA. Here’s what you can expect during your visit:
Things to Expect at Your Preconception Checkup
A preconception visit may include a physical check-up, but it’s mainly an opportunity to talk with your doctor about your personal fertility outlook and potential roadblocks. Your OB/GYN can help you optimize your and your partner’s preconception health and help with identifying your optimal times for conception.
At our offices throughout Richmond, VA, a preconception doctor visit may include a physical examination that includes a pelvic exam, pap smear, and blood tests to check your blood type and also identify any nutritional deficiencies. The gynecologist may also prescribe screening tests for sexually transmitted infections like genital herpes and other conditions for you and your partner too.
Besides a preconception checkup, you can expect to discuss the following at your preconception visit:
- Medication Adjustments
Your doctor will ask you about any birth control or other medications you’re on. Be sure to inform them about all the medicines you’re taking, not only the over-the-counter or prescription medications for chronic ailments but also other relatively unimportant ones. It includes nutritional supplements, health tonics, vitamins, or herbal supplements, regardless of how inconsequential they may seem. Some medicines increase the risk of birth defects and it’s important your doctor has the whole picture so they can make recommendations to proscribe or replace any, if required.
- Management of chronic conditions or health issues
Chronic health ailments like diabetes, thyroid, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, or others may pose challenges during pregnancy. Your doctor will prescribe treatment to manage any of these or other chronic conditions, if applicable in your case, to increase your chances of conceiving and to ensure a safe and healthy pregnancy.
- Your family history and that of your partner
Family medical history may serve as an indicator of health conditions to watch out for. To get the complete picture of hereditary conditions on both sides, your doctor will inquire about you and your partner’s family health history. If you or your partner’s family has a history of Down’s syndrome or other conditions, your gynecologist may recommend genetic preconception counseling in Richmond, VA.
- Your menstrual cycle (length of cycle, irregularities, issues)
Any issues in your menstrual cycle timing as well as length are indicative of fertility problems or other potential challenges during pregnancy. Your doctor will inquire about the regularity of your period and whether you face any challenges during that time.
- Ovulation tracking and timing of intercourse
In case you and your partner are having trouble conceiving, they will advise you on how to track your ovulation and time intercourse during the most fertile period according to your cycle.
- Vaccination updates
Vaccinations are important to keep diseases at bay during pregnancy. If your doctor finds that you do not have the required vaccines or are not up-to-date with any, they will recommend the needed vaccinations, which may include Hepatitis B, chicken pox, rubella, and others.
Remember it’s never too early to start preparing for one of the most important phases of your life. Our OB/GYNs are here to answer your questions and look forward to helping you start this exciting journey with the complete preconception care you need to ensure a healthy pregnancy.